Function and usage of get_current_screen() in wordpress


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    The get_current_screen() function in WordPress is a valuable tool for developers, particularly when creating plugins or themes that need to be context-aware. This function allows you to determine the current admin screen that a user is interacting with, providing a way to tailor functionality or display based on that context.

    Function Signature:

    get_current_screen(): WP_Screen|null

    Function Description:

    • Purpose: get_current_screen() retrieves the current screen object, which represents the admin screen that the user is currently viewing or interacting with in the WordPress dashboard.
    • Return Value: It returns an instance of the WP_Screen class or null if the current screen is not defined or the function is called outside of the admin screen context.

    Usage of WP_Screen Object:

    The WP_Screen object provides several properties and methods that give detailed information about the current screen. Some key properties include:

    • id: The ID of the screen, usually corresponding to a specific admin page.
    • base: The base type of the screen (e.g., 'post', 'edit', 'upload').
    • action: The action being taken on the screen, if any.
    • is_block_editor: Whether the screen is using the block editor.

    Sample Usage:

    Example 1: Conditional Enqueue of Scripts

    A common use case is conditionally enqueuing scripts or styles for specific admin pages. For example, if you have a custom script that should only load on the edit post screen:

    function my_enqueue_custom_script() {
        $screen = get_current_screen();
        if ( $screen && 'post' === $screen->id ) {
            wp_enqueue_script( 'my-custom-script' );
    add_action( 'admin_enqueue_scripts', 'my_enqueue_custom_script' );

    Example 2: Adding Meta Boxes Conditionally

    You might want to add custom meta boxes only for specific post types. Using get_current_screen(), you can check the post type of the current screen:

    function my_add_custom_meta_boxes() {
        $screen = get_current_screen();
        if ( $screen && 'my_custom_post_type' === $screen->post_type ) {
            add_meta_box( /* parameters for the meta box */ );
    add_action( 'add_meta_boxes', 'my_add_custom_meta_boxes' );

    Important Notes:

    • get_current_screen() is only available in the admin context, not on the front end.
    • The function should be used after the admin_init hook; calling it too early can result in a null value because the current screen may not be set up yet.

    This function is a powerful tool for making your code more efficient and tailored to the specific context of the WordPress admin area.

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